Tag Archives: Maryland Disability Law Center

MLSC announces 2012 legal services awards

The Maryland Legal Services Corporation announced its 2012 legal services awardees, to be honored at MLSC’s annual awards reception, Celebrating Thirty Years, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Herbert S. Garten will receive the Robert M. Bell Medal for Access to Justice, named for the chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Peter A. Holland of the Holland Law Firm will receive the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award for his significant contributions in the area of consumer law.  The Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award will go to Brenda Bratton Blom, professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and Lisae C. Jordan, acting executive director of Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award for a non-attorney who has demonstrated outstanding service representing the rights and legal needs of low-income persons will be presented to John Wheeler, an intake specialist and paralegal at the Maryland Disability Law Center for the past 30 years. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has been named as this year’s recipient of the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award for its long-standing leadership in access to justice initiatives.

MLSC was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1982 to receive and distribute funds to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal assistance to low-income persons. From its inception, MLSC has made grants totaling over $164 million to help provide services in nearly 2 million legal matters for Maryland’s families in areas of family, housing, consumer, employment, health care and other civil legal matters.


Pro bono solo donates his fee award

Towson solo attorney Danial V. Schmitt donated $3,000 to three civil legal programs–money from attorney fees he’d received in the settlement of a landlord/tenant dispute he’d handled pro bono.

Ann Lembo, chief attorney in Maryland Legal Aid’s Baltimore County office, said this was the first time a lawyer donated attorneys’ fees back to the organization in a pro bono case,” the Daily Record reported today. The other organizations getting donations are the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and the Maryland Disability Law Center.

“This is the first [donation back], and we are very happy,” Lembo said. “We are just really surprised Dan did that and donated the funds to us as well as a couple other legal organizations. And he got a great result for the client, too.”

Schmitt represented a woman in a case against her landlord, the article continued. A sewage backup in the house she was renting damaged her clothing, personal possessions and electronics. She filed suit initially on her own, seeking $5,800 for property damage and failure to return her security deposit.

“It was just such an outrageous situation,” Lembo said. “We thought she needed help, and we would have loved to be able to help her, but we are just swamped with calls.”

“Dan always does a great job for his clients,” Lembo added. “He always treats them with the utmost respect. In this case, he really went above and beyond for a pro bono client. We are really happy to have his help.”

To read the article (behind a pay wall), click here.